There’s a point where a painting changes from being something I’m working on, and it becomes an entity in itself.”
While recovering in hospital, Rick enjoyed regular visits from the girl he’d previously been on just three dates with – his now-wife Des. The couple married in 1969, a year after Rick was discharged from the army and returned to commercial art in Brisbane, before being offered the chance of a one-man exhibition in 1970. Since then he has had an impressive career spanning 45 years; Rick has featured in mixed and one-man exhibitions in Australia and around the world, established galleries in Brisbane and filmed television segments. His paintings have scooped awards such as the American Bicentennial Prize (QLD) and Stanthorpe Art Prize (QLD), finalist in the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, and feature in private and corporate collections in Australia, America, England, France, Japan, New Guinea, New Zealand, Spain, Greece and Italy; former Federal Arts Minister Senator George Brandis is a big fan. “(The travel) has influenced my work because I’ve had a huge number of subjects. We had two little boys (now adult sons Andrew and Nicholas), a lot of my early paintings were of activities with the kids and their friends, as well as houses and landscapes,” Rick says. Rick and Des moved their official residency back from Italy to Brisbane in 2010, coinciding with Rick’s 100th one-man exhibition. Then in 2014, the now-grandparents moved to Maleny. “It’s lovely and comfortable and has a bit of soul to it,” Rick smiles. The property is the old Thynne property house owned by sisters who also owned the land Mary Cairncross Park is on, with space to accommodate Rick’s other artistic passions of bronze sculptures and carving stone, and newly-opened private studio/gallery. Rick is currently showing pieces at local art studios, including Art on Cairncross, and a Sydney gallery has asked him for an exhibition on the Amalfi Coast, which will see him return to Italy in late spring. “I said when we moved back from Italy, The Italian Series was going to be phased out … but in hindsight I haven’t finished it, I love the connection in Italy.” Arrivederci.]]>